Downtown buses are moving to Chelsea


The commuter buses that the city Dept. of Transportation initially planned to dump in Tribeca have found a new home in Chelsea.

Starting Thurs., May 14, 20 to 30 buses will move from beneath the F.D.R. Dr. to a lot at 30th St. and Ninth Ave., the D.O.T. said Wednesday. That will allow work to move forward on the city’s East River Waterfront project, said Scott Gastel, D.O.T. spokesperson.

The D.O.T. planned to move about 20 buses to West St. in Tribeca last month, to make way for the East River work between Wall St. and Maiden Ln., until the community found out about the plan at the last minute and objected. The D.O.T. then agreed to nix the plan and look for an alternative.

Julie Menin, chairperson of Community Board 1, said Wednesday that parking the buses in Chelsea is a good solution.

“After all the anxiety everyone felt over the possibility of having these buses Downtown, it’s a huge relief and it’s the right thing to do,” Menin said. “We’re delighted.”

Academy Bus, the company that uses the most spaces under the F.D.R., is moving its 20 to 30 commuter buses to spaces it already uses in a parking lot in Chelsea, Gastel said. At the same time, Academy will move the same number of buses from Chelsea to New Jersey, so Chelsea should not notice any net impact from the new buses, Gastel said. Academy runs commuter routes from many places in New Jersey to Lower Manhattan and Midtown.

Academy’s relocation of its buses should solve the current problem, allowing all the other buses that park under F.D.R. Dr. to remain for now. But the D.O.T. will have to find a new space for an additional 30 buses this summer as work on the East River Waterfront continues, Gastel said.

Gastel said last week that 92 buses would ultimately be displaced by that work, but he said Wednesday that only about 60 buses would have to move in total, and nearly half are already set to go to Chelsea.

The D.O.T. is continuing to work with the community to find places for the remaining buses, Gastel said.

— Julie Shapiro